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Remaining bodies recovered after Friday's explosion in the port

Pipeline explosion
Pipeline explosion
Port of Corpus Christi mobilized for explosion
Coast Guard crews respond to dredge fire in the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel,
Coast Guard crews respond to dredge fire in the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel
Posted at 8:36 AM, Aug 21, 2020

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The remaining two bodies have been found of the four missing people reported after Friday's pipeline explosion.

The first two bodies were found at about 2 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., Saturday. The remaining bodies were announced to be found Monday via a press release from the Coast Guard.

“We can confirm that all four missing crewmen have been recovered,” said Mark Stauffer, CEO, Orion Marine Group. “We are grateful to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, and the rest of the associated agencies for their tireless efforts in assisting in the search and recovery efforts. We are devastated by the loss of four of our colleagues, each of whom has been a valuable part of the Orion team for many years. Our heartfelt prayers and sympathy are extended to their families and friends, and we ask that everyone please respect their privacy as we all work to recover from this terrible incident.”

Six were injured after an explosion at the Port of Corpus Christi on the morning of Aug. 21.

A port spokesperson said a dredge called the Waymon L. Boyd hit an underwater natural gas pipeline, causing the massive explosion that sent plumes of black smoke into the air at about 8 a.m. Firefighters said the fire ignited the dredge and spread from the pipeline to a nearby grain elevator.

Orion Marine Group owns the dredge. Director of Risk Management Graham Kenyon said the crew about the Waymon L. Boyd is a Port Lavaca-based team. Nineteen crewmembers were working on the dredge, which was located in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel's Inner Harbor, when it caught fire.

Port of Corpus Christi Chief Executive Officer Sean Strawbridge said in a news conference Friday that the dredge was working for a private port client and was not involved in work on behalf of the port.

CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline officials said four of the victims were transported to its facility, with three of them being transported to San Antonio's Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) via HALO-Flight to receive specialized treatment for burns received in the blast.

Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said a search-and-rescue operation is still underway for the missing people, and Coast Guard officials said at a news conference late Friday afternoon that search efforts are still underway for the four missing people.

Lantana Street, on the city's westside, was closed to traffic immediately after the explosion.

Initial reports linked an EPIC Products pipeline to the incident, but company spokesman David McArthur denied the company's involvement in a call to KRIS 6 News.

Gov. Greg Abbott reacted to the incident Friday morning.

"The State of Texas is working closely with local partners in Corpus Christi as well as the Coast Guard to assist with emergency response efforts following the explosion," he said in a statement. "Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas Department of Public Safety personnel are already on the ground to provide support, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality in the area. The state stands ready to provide any additional personnel and resources needed to address this event."